"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Heart Snail Collage

This is an adorable collage activity that I found on the website "Crafty Morning"
Instead of construction paper (the type I order is a bit dull) we used colored photocopy paper: a combination of the 'brights' and 'pastels'. 

They used the light green to draw a slug type body and cut that out. Then they chose three sheets of paper to create the heart shell (we discuss choosing contrasting colours when choosing the colours they want). They folded a sheet of paper in half and drew the largest half a heart shape they could. I encouraged them to really try to reach all the edges, as this would be the largest heart. 

No matter how many times I teach my elementary kids how to make a symmetrical heart from a sheet of folded paper, there's always at least a couple of kids who really struggle with the concept. I demonstrate to them in person, show them the fold line, and the importance of starting the pencil line on the folded edge, not the open edge. They do practice hearts on scrap paper. But even so, when it comes down to making their good copy hearts, always a couple go through like three sheets of coloured paper until they get it right! Any tips for me?? I swear to God this is one of the hardest concepts for me to teach so that ALL my kids get it right! I think next time I'll also show them a video on my big screen TV and hopefully that will help. 

Anyway, once they cut out the largest heart shape, they use this as a template to create the rest of the hearts. They trace the large heart onto the next colour of paper, but then trace inside of it slightly, about 1 cm, to create a slightly smaller heart. Cut it our and this is the middle heart. Do it one more time to create the smallest heart. I challenge advanced students to create four (or more) hearts. Glue those together with a glue stick and then glue onto the slug body. Then they cut out eyes and the 'antennae' thing-a-ma-bobs (I actually Googled what they really are and they're not antennae as I kept referring to them to my kids: The tentacles that stick out from the head of a snail are not its “feelers” as most people believe. On the ends of those tentacles are the snail’s eyes.)
Anyway, whatever, haha! We added extra eyes on the head and then two small hearts from scrap paper on top of the tentacles. 

This project always surprise me how challenging creating the hearts can be for some students. I feel the project is too easy for my Grade 3's but a bit too challenging for alot of my Grade 2's. Nonetheless everyone managed to finish and it took about 2- 40 minute periods in total. 
I love how they all came out :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

3D Box Hearts

I found this super cute lesson on the blog Mrs. T's First Grade Class
I knew my Grade 3's would love making the 3D box as many of them are SUPER into origami.

Mrs. T outlines all the steps on her blog :) Basically you take a square of black paper and draw 4 lines around it using the width of a ruler as a guide. 
Then cut, score, fold and glue and you have a cute shallow box.

My students had the choice to make their own symmetrical heart from a sheet of folded paper (they used this heart as a template to trace into their black paper) or draw their own heart directly onto the black paper. Most chose to create a symmetrical heart first. Then they coloured in the heart and the background using oil pastels. To make the heart 'pop' out a bit more, they traced around it using a black pencil crayon.

Construction paper isn't that great to fold- it's soft and doesn't make a crisp fold easily. So I showed my kids how to score their lines using an open pair of scissors and their ruler. 
This helped them along to create a clean line for easier and cleaner folding.

They cut four vertical cuts to create their tabs, then folded them in and 
used a glue stick to secure the tabs. 

Everyone managed to finish in one 40 minute period- I was impressed! Only about three in the class really struggled with the folding and creating of the box. The rest had no problem at all.

We also made mini hearts to add to the display.

For my bulletin board display I use two tacks per box to kinda 'hang' the boxes on. 
It looked great at first, but after about an hour, they all started falling off.


So I ended up re-arranging it all a bit and a junior high student suggested putting a sewing pin through the top of each box. That worked perfectly :)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mondrian Hearts

I decided to start my February Valentine-themed lessons early this year! So here are the first crop of 'love' themed artworks to share.  My Grade 3's made these Mondrian style hearts. The project was inspired by THIS post on the Mrs. T's First Grade Class blog.

Instead of a template, my Grade 3's made their own heart on black paper by folding the paper in half then drawing half a heart shape. They used this heart template to create a slightly smaller one on white paper. Using a ruler and pencil, they drew horizontal and vertical lines, aiming to create a variety of different sized rectangles and squares. (We had looked at a slideshow of Mondrian's work to get an idea of his style and discuss the concept of non-objective art).

Once the lines were mapped out, students chose which ones to colour in the primary colours as well as black. We used wax crayons for this step; tempera paint or oil pastels would also work very well.

Once coloured, I had pre-cut a whole bunch of 1/2" strips of black construction paper using my paper cutter- fast and efficient :)  Students glued these down covering their pencil lines and trimming the edges afterward. Then they glued them onto their black heart which created a nice frame/border.
This project took about 2 - 4 minute periods for all students to complete.

Some of the Grade 3 results:

Any students who finished really early could do a second one but using colours of their choice- I love this one!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Egyptian Portraits

Here's a lesson I love teaching: portraits of famous Egyptians. It started off originally as a King Tut portrait, inspired by THIS post from Kathy from Art Projects for Kids. Since then so many students ask me if the can instead do Cleopatra or Nefertiti, so now I just call it "Egyptian Portraits".

You can find my original post HERE.

Grade 6 students drew their portraits on 12 x 18" heavy white paper. they outlined them in Sharpie and then panted them with liquid tempera (mostly blue and gold).
Stay tuned for our upcoming name cartouches!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chalk Pastel Owls

Here's one of my favourite owl lessons- hanging chalk pastel owls.

Grade 5 students started off by drawing an owl- have books or photo reference handy for them- it helps alot! Once drawn out, they outlined them with a heavy outline of black wax crayon.

Then they coloured them in using either chalk pastels or construction paper crayons; whichever they prefer. Most chose chalk pastel because you can get so much lovely colour blending using them. Of course the drawback is they've very messy- so give extra time for clean-up at the end of class.
As you can see in the photo below, I store our chalk pastels in these awesome bowls from IKEA: the KALAS bowl, which is in the children's section. They are shallow and wide so never tip over. 
And you get 6 bowls for $1.79! 

Once coloured in, I have the kids 'bubble cut' their owl out (leave about a one inch border of white paper all around the edge- it acts as a frame of sorts).

Then they glue stick it to black construction paper. Then again bubble cut this out, punch a hole at the top and thread some yarn through if you want to hang them.

Some Grade 5 results!

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